Publishing with a purpose

Big Ideas


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Books to change the way we think

Our ‘Big Ideas’ titles are intelligent, interdisciplinary books that present critical thought and evidence in a succinct and readable way to help to untangle contemporary social issues.

Published by both Bristol University Press and Policy Press imprints, these books aim to surprise, disrupt and change the way we think, addressing cross-cutting issues such as class, race, gender, politics and social inequality.

Aimed at thoughtful and engaged readers who want to challenge received opinion, these titles will help us to work towards a common cause of social justice.

Showing 1-12 of 18 items.

The Happiness Problem

Expecting Better in an Uncertain World

The Happiness Problem shows that the illusion of control over our lives is too simplistic and can even be harmful. Sam Wren-Lewis offers an alternative: he proposes that we can connect with, and gain a deeper understanding of, the personal and social challenges that define our time.

Policy Press
  • ForthcomingPaperback
  • Currently not availableEPUB

The Class Ceiling

Why it Pays to be Privileged

This important book takes readers behind the closed doors of elite employers to reveal how class affects who gets to the top. Drawing on 200 interviews across four case studies - television, accountancy, architecture, and acting – it explores the complex barriers facing the upwardly mobile.

Policy Press
  • ForthcomingPaperback
  • AvailableHardback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

The End of Aspiration?

Social Mobility and Our Children’s Fading Prospects

Duncan Exley draws on expert research and real life experiences – including from an actor, a politician, a billionaire entrepreneur and a surgeon – to issue a wake-up call to break through segregated opportunity. He offers a manifesto to reboot our prospects and benefit all.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

The Economics of Arrival

Ideas for a Grown-Up Economy

In this ground-breaking book, Trebeck and Williams challenge us to make ourselves at home with economic wealth, to ensure that everyone is included. They explore the possibility of ‘Arrival’, urging us to move from enlarging the economy to improving it, and the benefits this would bring for all.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

Invisible Britain

Portraits of Hope and Resilience

Edited by Paul Sng

A photographic ethnography book that features the stories and portraits of individuals across the UK who have been impacted by social issues such as austerity, Brexit, deindustrialisation, nationalism and cuts to public services.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback

Miseducation

Inequality, Education and the Working Classes

This book brings Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden’s pioneering Education and the Working Class from 1962 up to date for the 21st century and reveals what we can do to achieve a fairer education system.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

Making Sense of Brexit

Democracy, Europe and Uncertain Futures

What can we learn about our society and the need to listen to each other in order to make sense of Brexit within a wider world? This accessible book addresses the causes and implications of Brexit, exploring the anger against political elites as people felt estranged from a political process that no longer expressed their will.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

Snobbery

Snobbery matters because it is the way in which social divisions are built. In these times of growing social inequality, snobbery is becoming ever more pertinent. This book draws on literature, popular culture and autobiography as well as sociology and history to take a fresh and engaging look at this key social and cultural issue.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableKindle
  • AvailableEPUB

What’s Wrong with Work?

What’s wrong with work shows that how workers are treated has wide implications beyond the lives of workers themselves.

Recognising gender, race, class and global differences, the book considers the ways formal work is often dependent on informal work and concludes by considering what might make work better.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

Money

Myths, Truths and Alternatives

Mary Mellor examines money’s social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere. She sets out a new finance system, based on green and feminist concerns, to bring radical change for social good.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableEPUB
  • AvailableKindle

Peak Inequality

Britain's Ticking Time Bomb

Dorling brings together new material alongside a selection of his most recent writing on inequality from publications including the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, New Statesman, Financial Times and the China People’s Daily. He explores whether we have now reached ‘peak inequality’ and concludes by predicting what the future holds for Britain.

Policy Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableKindle
  • AvailableEPUB

The Lies We Were Told

Politics, Economics, Austerity and Brexit

Bristol Uni Press
  • AvailablePaperback
  • AvailableKindle
  • AvailableEPUB